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Welcome back Julian!

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He had managed to get to the tower with the Platypus. The crowd, as hesitant as they had been, were completely bowled over by the famous mythical creature being proved real. Just when Julian had thought it couldn't be better, John had asked him to sing.

With Jacques, Francois, Leticia, Pierre, and John all around him, he had sang, the words coming to him with confidence and focus, even though he had never fleshed out all the lyrics.

The audience had loved it, applauding furiously, before starting to file out, everyone murmuring to themselves about how this whole thing must have been planned. Make them think things had gone horribly awry only to have the fantastic show they had just witnessed.

 

Julian gave a small bow, reminded by both the bright lights and the soreness in his stomach, that he had actually been badly hurt, and should probably not have left the hospital where the medicine was administered.

Almost as if he summoned them, ambulance workers appeared at the edge of the stage, come to take him back to the hospital
Jacques saw them first, gesturing to them to give Julian a moment. He then tapped John on the shoulder, motioning with his head to the man and woman waiting to take Julian back. John gripped the Janitors hand tighter for an infinitesimal moment. He found himself suddenly rippling with anxiety again. Julian was here. Julian had saved the show.

Julian was hurt. He had almost died to save John, and now was endangering himself again, to save the show. Of course he was. Julian never did anything by halves, did he?

But as much as John knew Julian needed to go back to the hospital, he didn't want to let him go. He was irrationally afraid that if he let them take Julian again, he wouldn't ever see the man again. And the thought of that was suddenly too much for him to bear.

But before he could hold court to an internal argument, Julian listed drastically to the side, pulling John out of his own head and along with him while the stagehands moved hurriedly to try and catch the male.

"Julian!"
"Woah!"
"Hey!"

Jacques was the one able to get around fast enough to catch the man before he hit the ground, holding him and looking up at Leticia for guidance. To hell if he knew what to do when someone fainted. All he did know was that this kid needed food. He was as thin as a stage light and just as heavy. He decided that he would make sure the kid was eating more, once he got back from the hospital.

 

Leticia just looked at them, for a moment unsure herself. The transport people came close to them, but did not step in just yet.

John looked at their hands, still connected, as brown eyes slowly fluttered back open. He hadn't even been down for a minute but the first words he uttered were Johns name. Because again. Of course.

"John we need to let them take iim back to ze ospital. E' never should ave left in ze first place." Leticia said, regaining composure.

John looked up at her, eyes wide with panic, wanting to say absolutely not, when the hand holding his squeezed lightly back, drawing his attention.
"Julian."
"Mister Cameron, it's okay. You..You can come and visit me." Julian said, eyes only half open, voice seeming reedy and frail.

John felt his throat close up against the words he suddenly had to say. What if this was his last chance to say them? What if Julian never came back and he never said them?

"John" Leticia repeated, more firmly, having given the transporters permission to take the Janitor back before he really lost consciousness on the floor of the ballroom, or worse, John did.

John nodded, looking at the male one last time
Julian gave him a smile, letting go of his hand. "Its okay. " he said again, before flinching as the man and woman took over, putting him on a stretcher and hooking him up to a bag with fluids, and a machine to monitor his vitals. The man began to push Julian away, while the woman communicated to Letcia the extent of Julians injuries. He had some pretty deep wounds, three across his chest and stomach, probably from when he dived in front of John, and a fracture on his skull from when his head hit the ground during the landing. There was also some lighter scratches and bruises, but they were mostly superficial. They did however need monitoring due to Julian lacking in Factor V, and the fact that he had already lost so much blood by the time he had gotten to the Emergency the first time.

Leticia asked if they would be able to visit to see him, and reminded the woman that she was Julians 'Sister'. She was told that once he was checked over and cleared again, that She wouild be permitted, but that the others could not.

John made an indignant sound when he heard the last bit. He would be damned if anyone kept him out of that room. If Julian pulled through he was going to handcuff HIM to the damned Microphone. Or better still, to himself, so that Julian was never out of sight again.

Leticia sighed. John was being impossible even as he longingly watched the stretcher fade out of the light of the stage. "Zat will not do. John is iis fiance. E will want to see iim too." The woman looked between John and her. She was slightly skeptical, considering John must have at least been ten years older than the patient. Leticia nodded. "Age means nothing when love is involved." She shrugged. The woman looked at John again and he nodded furiously. She sighed, conceding that he could visit as well.

The other stagehands moved kind of sluggishly, Pierre with an arm around Jacque, guiding him off stage, Francois pushing the tape machine off behind them. Jacques seemed shaken up, as he had not seen the wounds Julian suffered. But it was unnatural, how quiet and frail, and tired, the janitor had looked. It really hammered home to him, to all three of them, once Jacques mentioned his feelings, how they hadn't always been the nicest to Julian..but how they did not want to imagine their lives without him in it. His stories, his singing, that funny little smile he gave when they did actually say something nice to him.

The three men began talking, telling stories about the Janitor, and planning something for when he came Back.

 

The woman took her leave, and Leticia ran a hand through her hair, turning her attention to John just as he began to speak.

"Leticia I love him."

"Dis is news only to you, messieur Cameron. I ave been waiting for you to realize and blurt it out. " She said, putting her arm around him and ushering him, too, from the stage. Finally. Maybe now they would stop pussyfooting around each other, she thought to herself.

 

Nope. If anything, John and Julian seemed even more shy and uncertain around each other. Both in the visits she was present at, and the ones John went alone to.

John sat far from Julians bed, the two of them awkwardly talking. But every time John came out, he informed Leticia that he had failed in telling Julian his truth.

It went on for two weeks, Leticia finally venting to her girlfriend Melody about it when John returned unsuccessful yet again, and with the news that Julian would be discharged in two days.

"E is being completely unreasonable! E as nothing to lose and everything to gain by telling Julian e loves iim!" Leticia muttered into the lap of the Conductor, who just chuckled, and continued carding gentle fingers through her hair.

"Leticia we lived one floor apart from each other and it took you almost an entire year to ask me out to coffee. " she reminded the woman, who just gave a huff.

"Eet is different for them than it is for us, you are very pretty. " she explained as if it were obvious.

"Leticia, really." Melody laughed, moving her hands so the woman could sit up.

"Yes, really. Now, are you going to elp me, or just keep playing with my air?"

"Throw him a party. You said John said he will be released from the hospital soon. If you throw him a party, he will be too nice to try and leave, and John will grow exasperated by the fact that he won't be able to get a moment alone with Julian, and force his hand." Melody said. Leticia grinned.

"Brilliant! Very pretty, and Very smart!" She said, kissing her girlfriend gently on the forehead before pulling her up from the couch.

"Come! We ave a party to plan!"

John had paid a significant amount of money to have cleaners come and completely sanitize his house. The doctors had said while Julian was essentially in the clear, he still needed a clean, quiet place to rest and recover, and no work. The wounds were healing nicely, but the fracture would take slightly more time, and Julian had confessed that he was getting headaches and slight spells of vertigo.

Which meant his closet at the tower was absolutely OUT of the question. John had half a mind to demand that he be paid a living wage so he wouldn't have to sleep in a damn closet. Or better still, pay for a flat for Julian to live in.

Or even better still, have Julian just not leave his house when he recovered.

Part of him felt like maybe that was moving a bit too fast. But then he remembered he had known Julian for almost 4 years now. And that their relationship, as much as John had originally tried to keep it professional, was far beyond that.

He had a spare room. Julian could most certainly live there. And they worked in the same place. Now that the show was renewed he had no worry that he was going to lose his job or home, in fact, the president could not stop praising "their" discovery in the Janitor.

It had taken all he had not to tell the President that it was his fault Julian had almost died. To tell him exactly where he could shove his opinions of the scraggly man John was heels over head in love with.

 

But he had restrained. On the last day before Julian was released, he had stayed far from his house so as to not contaminate it, but found himself shut out by everyone at the Orbiting Human Circus. Everybody flitted around with boxes, but nobody would tell him what was inside. He tried to find Leticia, but was told she was visiting Julian.

Which, with nowhere else to go himself, he agreed with nobody that that was an excellent plan, and he made his way to the hospital.

 

Leticia was gone by the time he arrived, and the nurses let him in, only letting him know Julian was asleep. The male needed rest, so they tried to let him rest any time he fell asleep. He had had a few nightmares, but nothing he wanted to tell them about, and he fell asleep soon after them.

John, seeing Julian without the ivs and machines attached to him, just sleeping with a small clip on his finger to monitor his heartbeat, gave a soft huff, pulling his usual chair closer. He sat down, and took the males hand. He just sat there. A waterfall of words sat on the edge of his tongue, ready to pour out and fill the room if he opened his mouth. So he didn't. It wasn't the time.

Now that Julian was going to pull through, he had all the time to make this confession perfect.

 

Julian hesitated, twisting his hat in his hands as John was given all the information and prescriptions needed for his home care and recovery. He was nervous about staying with John, for sure, but more nervous about the fact that Leticia had asked him to come back to the tower once he was discharged. He wondered what she had planned. The unknown was always frightening. She had told John to bring him, as well, so there was no weasling out.

He was sat in a wheelchair. When John finally came to fetch him, he protested being pushed in it, fully willing to get up and walk, only to be told he wasn't allowed to walk out of the hospital.
"Its okay Julian. You will be able to walk once we get back to the Ballroom." The older male said, tone gentle, far gentler than Julian was used to. He admitted, he wasn't entirely sure where things between him and the host stood. John had been at his side almost daily in his recovery, and they had talked about almost everything either of them could think of. John now knew Julians entire life story, and Julian knew a lot more about John than he had anticipated ever knowing.

He had wanted to say more. He had tried to. The four words he was aching to say to John since before the accident. The four words he didn't say.

How could He? John was looking after him. He was acting as a caregiver. Julian couldn't make that awkward by pushing his feelings on the Host. He sighed, looking at his hands as John wheeled him to the car and helped him in.

He was still a bit stiff and sore for certain, but Johns seats were so soft it was like being hugged the whole time. John got in and after making sure he was alright, turned the car on.

"Leticia said she washed the things in your room and have them ready for us to pick up." John said, casually. Julian nodded, then realized John probably didn't see it.

"Oh. A-alright. I will try to stay out of your way, Mister Cameron." He said. John chuckled, shaking his head.

"Julian, I think you can call me John now." He smiled, turning off a road. The Janitor flushed, a small smile on his face.
"Okay, John." He liked it, saying the others name.

Once they got to the tower, John got out to help Julian, keeping an arm around the others waist as they walked. Julian was red faced, and if he looked up at John, he would see the male had cheeks to match.

The halls were empty once they got there, and so was the stagehands lounge.
"Wonder where everyone is" Julian said, looking around. John hmmed in agreement.
"She did say to come here..maybe the ballroom?" John said, guiding Julian towards the curtains. Using his free hand, he opened them, almost Yanking Julian behind him as the group threw confetti at them, shouting at them in a greeting

"Surprise! Welcome home Julian!" The stagehands all cheered, Jacques holding a cake that mirrored their words in terrible writing, Melody present as well, clapping along with the rest.

"Oh!" Julian looked at all of them, surprised, and Very pleased. He had never had a party thrown for him before. Looking up at John, he saw the man's surprise matched his own. "Did you know this was happening?"

"No, they didn't tell me anything" John said, shooting Leticia an accusing look. She grinned, moving and pulling Julian free. "We wanted to surprise You, Julian. If John knew e would ave told. Now come. Jacques made you a cake, and Melody and I brought food! You must be sick of ospital food by now, yes?"

Julian looked over his shoulder at John, who gave him a smile. "Th-thank you!" He let the woman tug him away, and he was soon surrounded by their coworkers. Pierre had gotten him a new sweater, Francois three new pairs of pants, Jacques had gotten him shirts, Leticia and Mel gave him new shoes. Everyone sat around and talked, telling their favorite stories about him, asking him how he was, and just, being so kind to him that Julian couldn't stop smiling.

For over two hours though, he couldn't seem to get another moment alone with John, and even less, a moment alone with his thoughts, and between the delicious food and the surprisingly delicious cake, Julian snuck away, leaning on the rail outside, looking at the evening sky of Paris. He was so happy. Everyone was so nice, it felt like he finally had a family.

"Everyone is happy to have you back." The voice came from behind him, and Julian started slightly, as John came up and leaned next to him.

"Yeah, it's great! I just needed a moment." Julian said gently, looking at the male from the corner of his eye.

"Oh. I can go if yo-"

"No! I..I mean. No. You can stay, John. Please." Julian stammered, thankful for the cover of night hiding his blush. The older man nodded, returning to leaning.

They both stood there, in a comfortable silence. It was nice, and it made Julian sure that they would be alright sharing space for the remainder of his recovery.

"How are-"
"Thank y-"

"Sorry!"
"Sorry!"

They looked at each other, both having spoken at the same time. It was funny, and they both started laughing. John stopped first.
"What were you saying, Julian?"
It took Julian a few more moments to catch his breath, but he smiled.
"I was going to say, thank you. For all your help, and opening your home to me. Everyone has been so nice, but you have been the nicest." He said, expression bright and happy.

John just stared. Julian seemed to glow, his skin lit by the lights of the city below. And the smile made him look even younger.
Any words he wanted to say died instantly, his brain taking in every bit of the expression the other man wore.

Julian looked at him, acutely aware of how John was looking at him, and in a moment of bravery, he gripped the other by the lapels, pressing their lips together.

John's hands flailed for a moment, before settling on the others hips, only missing a beat before he was kissing Julian back. When they pulled apart to breathe their faces were flushed, and Julian was sucking in a breath that informed John that the other had been holding his breath the whole time.

"Julian you have to breathe. You'll pass out if you don't while we..do that."

"I love you, John!" John froze, looking at Julian with surprise.

"What did you say?" He managed after a moment.

"I..I love you. I have for so long but I was afraid to say it, but I was even more afraid because what if I died and I never said This? I would regret it in whatever afterlife I went to, so I told myself I would tell you but then it just never seemed right until right now and i..yeah...I love you, John."

They looked at each other, Julian growing more and more scared as every second passed. He was just about to start apologizing, when John began to laugh, running his hands through his hair.

"Of course. OF COURSE. Here I have been, trying to work out the best way to tell you, and you steal my thunder by just stating it on the side of the Eiffel Tower as if we were discussing the weather." John whined, moving to take Julians face in his hands. Julian looked at him, shocked. He had expected rejection.

"I love you too Julian." John said, before leaning in, kissing him again.

Meanwhile, Leticia grinned, walking away from the doors to go tell Melody. While it hasn't gone exactly to plan, it made perfect sense that once again, Julian would muck things up in the best way.